Loan Deferment and Forbearance
Debt Management Options
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Deferment and forbearance offer a way for you to temporarily postpone or lower your loan payments while you're back in school, in the military, experiencing financial hardship (including Peace Corps service), or in certain other situations. Some deferment programs are only for federal government loans, but many private lenders also offer deferments. These vary by program. Read your loan agreement carefully or ask your lender about options that may be available for your private loan.
You'll need to work with your federal loan servicer or private lender to apply for deferment or forbearance; and be sure to keep making payments on your loan until the deferment or forbearance is in place.
Once a deferment has been granted, you do not need to make payments. What's more, depending on the type of loan you have, the federal government may pay the interest on your loan during a period of deferment.
If you can't make your scheduled loan payments, but don't qualify for a deferment, your loan servicer or private lender may be able to grant you a forbearance. With forbearance, you may be able to stop making payments or reduce your monthly payment for up to 12 months. Interest will continue to accrue on your private and federal Stafford subsidized and unsubsidized loans (including all PLUS loans).
Learn more about Loan Deferment and Forbearance